US benchmarks advance by almost 1%
As the Federal Reserve began its two-day meeting, of which the highlight will undoubtedly be the continuation of the central bank’s $85 billion a month monetary stimulus package, US stocks climbed higher, raising benchmarks by almost 1% across the board. The NASDAQ advanced by 30.00 points, or 0.9%, to close at 3482.18, matching the occurrence made by the Dow Jones industrial average. The broadest US index, the S&P 500, climbed by 12.77 points, or 0.8%, to 1651.81.
The fact that investors have driven the markets higher shows that the sentiment that drove the markets on in the first half of the year is still there, it is merely oppressed by the fear that the Federal Reserve could remove its four-year-old $85 billion a month policy which has kept the market advancing for so long. In fact that is one of the primary reasons for the policy; to encourage investors into the stock market and drive down the nations interest rates.
The slight jump in stock prices also suggests that investors feel the Federal Reserve will not be tapering their bond purchasing program just yet, however we simply won’t know until tomorrow evening when the Federal Reserve chairman addresses the press with more details. It is widely expected that Ben Bernanke will say that while the situation is getting better, a slowdown in economic stimulus could undermine any and all progress that has been made so far. Analysts are predicting a start date for the slowdown to be sometime towards the back end of 2014.
General Electric led the way in terms of advances, climbing 2.4%, followed by United Health Group which rose by 2.0%. Shares in computer company Dell climbed to $13.48 after pressure was placed on the company to purchase the remaining shares held by third parties for $14 per share as the company continues its attempts to go private. Dell’s highest offer to date still sits some $.35 off that price.